Worse than cronyism

Posted: Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Gov. Frank Murkowski's decision to name his daughter Lisa as his successor in the U.S. Senate was ill-advised, impetuous, and smacks of nepotism, which is an even worse institution than cronyism.

Murkowski should have heeded the well-placed historical aspersions cast at dynastic political families like the Kennedys, Browns, Byrds, Tafts, and more recently, the Lotts, Bushes and Powells. And given Alaska's long-standing problem with nepotism, most notably in the political arena and within Native corporations, Murkowski should have ensured that his appointment gave no hint of impropriety.

Naming a relative to a political post merely because you can, or because you want to ensure that political power remains in the family, is a flagrant abuse of one's authority and position; such a move only alienates voters and engenders distrust and cynicism.

Temple D. Stephenson


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